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Lake Erie & Western New York Fishing Hotline

June 8 to June 15, 2018

Free Teach-Me-To-Fish Event: Saturday, June 9th from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Tifft Nature Preserve's Lake Kirsty, 1200 Fuhrman Blvd., Buffalo.

At this free fishing event, no fishing license is required to fish. Participants can learn about fish species, fishing techniques and tackle at the education stations. Kids age 15 and under can register to win great fishing prizes in the random drawing. Fishing rods are available to borrow or bring your own. Worms provided for bait. Adult accompaniment is required for all youth participants.

Lake Erie & Harbors

There are still some walleye available at night in the nearshore shallows, however that bite is tapering off. The daytime action has been decent to good at mid-depth areas, including some limit catches. Out of Buffalo, anglers are catching walleye off the windmills in 30-40 feet of water. Productive methods include trolling with worm harness or stickbaits near the bottom, or by slow trolling (1mph or less) with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness. From Sturgeon Point to west of Dunkirk, depths of 40-50 feet are good starting points. Depths around 40 feet off Van Buren Bay has been a hot spot. Worm harnesses or stickbaits run within 10 feet of bottom is a good bet. Working the deeper edges of the walleye spawning structures is also worth a try.

Smallmouth bass are still biting well in the Lake Erie Harbors and the catches are improving around the nearshore reefs and shoals. Good spots to try include Myers Reef, Seneca Shoal, Evans Bar and Van Buren Reef. Many smaller reefs, rock piles and humps will hold bass as well. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are good bass baits. A drop-shot rig with tubes, plastics or live bait works well when fishing deeper waters. For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page.

Lake Erie Tributaries

There are still smallmouth bass in all of the Lake Erie tributaries with best numbers in the larger streams. Cattaraugus Creek is in prime shape and is the best option.

Niagara River

Shore anglers can catch a variety of warmwater species at sites throughout the upper Niagara River. Catches of bass, yellow perch, white bass, sheepshead and sunfish are common at shore sites in late spring. Keep in mind that black bass fishing in the upper river is by catch and release only, artificial lures only until the regular season opens on third Saturday in June. Some walleye have been showing along Unity Island.

Surprisingly, there are still plenty of steelhead in the lower river and some boats have had double digit catch days this week. Enjoy it while it lasts, as warming waters will push them back to the lake soon. A bottom bouncing rig with minnow or flatfish lure works well for steelhead in the upper drifts. Decent numbers of smallmouth bass are available from Devils Hole to the Niagara Bar. Boaters can target bass by drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics or flatfish lure or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Live shiners and crayfish are also good bass baits and will be permitted for use when the regular black bass season opens on June 16th. Anglers are also catching some white bass on live bait and the occasional walleye. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Lake Ontario & Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

King salmon action remains strong, but fish are moving around, requiring a bit more searching. This week the better king bite has been between 80-200 feet of water from Wilson to Hamlin, on lures run 50 to 80 feet down. Spoons continue to get most attention, but some of the bigger kings (over 20 pounds) have hit flasher fly combos. Off the Niagara Bar, depths of 200-250 feet of water has been productive. Anglers targeting kings are also catching some lake trout, coho salmon and the occasional steelhead or Atlantic salmon. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2018. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page.

Chautauqua Lake

The walleye fishing continues to be quite good, with a few slow days mixed in. Best action has been tight along weed lines. Slow trolling less than 2 mph with worm harnesses has been tops. Casted or trolled stickbaits produce catches as well. Muskellunge fishing has been fair along weedlines. Try trolling large stickbaits along weed edges or casting large stickbaits over weed beds and retrieving towards open water. Largemouth bass are biting well around docks and around weed beds. Bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only until 3rd Saturday in June. See the Chautauqua Lake page for more fishing information.

Inland Trout Fishing

The area streams are in good shape with moderate to slightly lower flows and relatively cool temperatures. Trout are looking up and readily taking surface flies. Look for hatches of sulphurs, caddisflies, stoneflies and March browns on the streams that have them. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams, Stocked Streams and Stocked Lakes to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best streams. Check out the Fishing for Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, fishing equipment and techniques.

Spring Trout Stocking

All of western New York's trout stocking waters have been stocked with all of designated stocking increments. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2018 page.

If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; fwfish9@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.